This is part 1 of a 2-part series on fishing with jigs. Part 1 covers jig theory and construction, part 2 covers recommended jig fishing techniques.
So, now that we’ve considered the benefits of jigs in general, and tungsten jigs in particular, let’s take a close look at how we should fish them.
Fish in heavy brush and cover
Work jigs in the heaviest cover you can find. That’s where most of the fish are most of the time so that’s where you should be fishing most of the time.
Don’t get in a hurry when fishing tangled wood, thick weeds or heavy rock. Allow the jig to sit for a few moments before moving it along. Let the hair, skirt and trailer do their thing.
With little or no help from you everything will spread out, undulate and draw strikes from hesitant fish. It’s a matter of confidence. Once you catch a fish or two this way you’ll become a true believer.
In short; don’t overwork your jig.
Swim Jigs In Open Water
Learn to swim jigs in open water over structure and cover, and especially around weeds. Practice until you can retrieve the lure on a level, horizontal line and at a constant rate of speed. The less roll and pitch a swimming jig displays the more fish it’ll catch.
Vary your depth until you have covered all the available water from top to bottom or from bottom to top. Sometimes a matter of one or two inches up or down will make a world of difference.
You’ll be surprised at the number of quality fish – especially bass and walleye – you can catch with this technique.
Drag Your Jig Along The Bottom
Don’t just hop a jig along the bottom when you retrieve it. Try dragging it along, never losing contact with the bottom. This makes more noise and stirs up sediment. That’s pretty much what a crayfish does as he scoots along.
Vary your speed and the length of your drag until you find what the fish want. (Make sure you use an abrasion resistant line — Vicious (www.vicious-fishing.com) makes some of the best — when doing this. If you choose anything else your jigs and your fish will soon be gone.)
Fish On Top Of Brush, Not Just In And Around It
Don’t limit your fishing spots to those along and under wood. Set your jig on top of logs and limbs. Allow it to sit motionless for a few moments and then lift it, ever so gently, off the wood.
You’ll catch a ton of fish doing this. They typically strike just as the jig is moving up, off the wood. Occasionally, however, they’ll be in the mood to take it on the fall. Watch your line for the telltale twitch and you’ll figure it out soon enough.
Use Scent Products
Don’t kid yourself — scent products work. Use them. One of the best on the market is Fish Dope. It’s thick, smells awful and is affordable.
If you want to add scent and dye the tips of your skirt or trailer at the same time try JJ’s Magic Fish Dope; it’s nasty, and it works.